UDAAN – EDUCATION SPONSORSHIP & CAREER GUIDANCE FOR GIRLS
Udaan” (meaning flight) is a ChildFund India innovation to empower and motivate girls from poor and marginalized families in high-barrier geographies to access higher education and pursue careers of their choice. 250 girls aged 16-24 are currently benefitting under the project. The program is being implemented in the following geographies:
- Udaipur district in Rajasthan,
- Jhabua, Dhar and Alirajpur districts in Madhya Pradesh,
- Daltonganj and Ranka districts in Jharkhand, and
- Kalahandi and Nuapada districts in Odisha
Barriers to girls’ education and career
Although it has been recognized that educated girls make a long lasting impact on the quality of life of their families and communities, girl children often have to give up pursuit of higher education and career for the welfare of the family. This is usually due to a lack of awareness and guidance, non-availability of local educational institutions, pressure to do household work including taking care of younger siblings, and later on getting married.
ChildFund India’s research shows that even girls who do pursue higher education are not aware of the professional and technical courses available to them, and are unable to afford them. This prevents them from becoming self-reliant.
Following are the key program components:
Students in grades 10 – 12 are guided to identify their academic interests, and skills of choice. They are informed about available internships, career opportunities and placement services.
Life Skills Education:
Youth, especially girls, are supported in acquiring essential life skills so that they are able to take key decisions.
Since career choices are usually dependent on academic achievements, students are motivated to improve their academic performance.
- They are assisted to secure admission in higher education courses of their choice. Their enrolment expenses, tuition fees, travel expenses, books, study material, hostel or living expenses are covered.
- Project teams track their progress through six monthly reports.
- Students are provided financial support for coaching classes and to appear for various competitive exams.
Networking and liaisoning:
A crucial element of the project is collaboration with various government departments, universities and colleges that provide scholarships and placement services.